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Keeping homes warm with waste steam

Orion used to condense its waste steam in Hanko in seawater. From now on, the waste steam will be transferred to the local district heating network.

“The discharge of waste steam into the sea is wasteful, as we can use it in energy production and thus reduce the need to buy energy from elsewhere. At Orion, we are pleased that we now have an opportunity to use our waste steam to heat homes in Hanko.”

– Jere Laaksonen, Project Manager, Orion

Organic compounds are released in Orion’s production. These compounds are combusted in a steam boiler to prevent harmful substances from reaching the atmosphere. Instead of harmful substances, the steam boiler releases harmless waste steam that used to be condensed by directing it into seawater.

This is now changing: all the waste steam will be transferred to the local district heating network in Hanko from November 2021. Not even a puff of this steam will end up in the sea.

Reusing waste steam is good for the environment: it makes sense to transfer the excess steam directly to the residents of Hanko for use instead of wasting the energy contained in the steam. It will also generate real savings in Orion’s energy costs: Adven, the local district heating network, will compensate Orion for the waste steam.

Why raise the bar?

It is important to use such a high volume of energy. Its reuse is beneficial not only for Orion as a company, but also for the environment and the entire energy system of the Hanko region.

How are we raising the bar?

Instead of condensing a massive amount of waste steam in seawater, we can have it reused in the district heating network of Adven, one of our partners. This also means that a corresponding amount of heat does not need to be produced in the other district heating boilers in the region, which lowers the total energy production and level of emissions.

In 2020, a total of around 4,400 MWh of waste steam was directed into the sea at the Hanko plant. No waste steam will be released into the sea once the new system is introduced in October 2021.